|Merritt Points To Court Side
Quick, strong and aggressive, Daon Merritt ..
.. Daon Merritt , the All-Conference point guard who led the University of South Alabama (USA) to a 25-5 record and NCAA Tournament berth this past season, has signed with Court Side for exclusive representation. The New York City native is a powerfully built, 1,76 cm (5’9), 88 kg (193 pounds) point guard, who excels in running a team, penetrating and creating for himself and his teammates. He’s got speed, quickness and is a power penetrator, using his strength to get by defenders or to go through them. With the ability to knock down the 3-point shot, Daon (pronounced “D-On”) is a good finisher around the basket and will have no trouble with the European penetration & kick game. He has proven the ability to score against top competition, during all phases of his American career. Merritt quarterbacked the Jaguars to a 25-5 season, including a pair of upset victories over Conference USA and SEC (Southeastern Conference) schools. Against Southern Mississippi of Conference USA, Daon had 24 points (4-8 2FG, 2-4 3FG, 10-13 FT) and 4 assists, to lead USA to a 75-68 win. 10 days later, in USA’s next game, Merritt had 14 points (1-2 2FG, 4-6 3FG, 0-2 FT), 4 rebounds and 4 assists to help the Jaguars to a 71-67 win over Mississippi State. Well known on the playgrounds of New York, Merritt is known for being a winner and a leader. He has been a winner throughout his basketball career. Possesses the New York City handle and knows how to penetrate into the key, using his quicks, change of speed and hard-driving style. He was named All-Sun Belt Conference second team (five players per team) as a senior, after garnering All-Sun Belt Conference third team honors as a junior, when he averaged 12,7 points and 5,3 assists per game, while shooting 46% from the field and 36% from behind the 3-point arc. He averaged 11,5 points for his senior campaign. Merritt dished 182 assists this season, for an average of 5,5 per game, ranking him 35th among NCAA Div. I players. Merritt also had a career best of 13 assists this season (at Troy). In his abbreviated South Alabama career, he finished 7th in all-time school history in career assists, despite only competing for two seasons. He had 346 career assists at USA, with committing 179 turnovers, a very impressive 1,93 assists to turnover ratio.
Merritt transferred to South Alabama, after starting his college career at Richmond. Merritt’s high school coach, Gary DeCesare (St. Raymond’s High School in Bronx, New York), got the assistant coaching job at Richmond and brought Daon with him. Merritt was one of the top high school point guards in the nation and led St. Raymond’s to a New York City and State championship. Merritt stayed at Richmond for two seasons, and started his sophomore year, when he averaged 11,1 points and 4,3 assists for the Spiders. Later, after Daon’s sophomore season, coach DeCesare got the
assistant coaching position at DePaul, which triggered Merritt’s transfer. Merritt has a strong basketball IQ and his penetration ability has drawn comparisons to a human bowling ball (low to the ground and then able to overpower and get to the bucket). He knows his way around the basket too, able to easily get his shot off against much taller shot blockers. He also brings a New York attitude to his defense, which allows him to guard much taller guards.